Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities; mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs; greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex; and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Plutonium Sampling at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Cost of RECA Chart


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LANL’s Central Mission: Los Alamos Lab officials have recently claimed that LANL has moved away from primarily nuclear weapons to “national security”, but what truly remains as the Labs central mission? Here’s the answer from one of its own documents:

LANL’s “Central Mission”- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

Banner displaying “Nuclear Weapons Are Now Illegal” at the entrance in front of the Los Alamos National Lab to celebrate the Entry Into Force of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty on January 22, 2021

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Follow the Money!

Map of “Nuclear New Mexico”

In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev shake hands after signing the arms control agreement banning the use of intermediate-range nuclear missles, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Reduction Treaty.

Waste Lands: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Legacy

The Wall St. Journal has compiled a searchable database of contaminated sites across the US. (view)
Related WSJ report:

New & Updated

Full Meeting Recording: WIPP Draft Permit Renewal Public Hearing September 22

WIPP Draft Permit Renewal Public Hearing September 22

A permit to renew the operating permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is the subject of this hybrid public meeting hosted by the New Mexico Environment Department.

More information on WIPP and the permit renewal process:

Posted by Nuclear Watch New Mexico on Friday, September 22, 2023

A permit to renew the operating permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is the subject of this hybrid public meeting hosted by the New Mexico Environment Department.

Los Alamos Lab’s Future at a Crossroads: Cleanup or More Nuclear Weapons? NukeWatch Applauds NM State Rejection of Fake Cleanup

Santa Fe, NM – In an important win for genuine cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) has rejected the Lab’s plans for so-called cleanup through “cap and cover.” LANL’s plan would leave existing radioactive and toxic wastes uncharacterized and forever buried in unlined pits and trenches as a permanent threat to groundwater. At issue is remediation of the Lab’s “Material Disposal Area C” waste dump that has 7 pits and 108 shafts of radioactive and toxic wastes. Area C is located in the heart of nuclear weapons production at LANL, contiguous to the Lab’s main plutonium facility which is expanding production of plutonium “pit” bomb cores.

In a September 7, 2023 “Public Notice of Statement of Basis,” the Environment Department ruled:

“For maximum protection of human health and the environment and to ensure that the drinking water resource can be conservatively protected, NMED has determined that the selected [cleanup] remedy for MDA C must consist of waste excavation, characterization, and appropriate disposal of the buried waste… Excavation will ensure that the source of contamination at MDA C is removed…”

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Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Yes, nuclear weapons are immoral. They’re also, practically speaking, useless.

“…Human beings make the threats, evaluate the threats, and decide how to respond. If human beings are prone to folly—and we are—and if human beings run the deterrence process, then nuclear deterrence is inherently flawed. It will fail. Over the long run it cannot be safe. Eventually, human failure will lead to a catastrophic nuclear war.”

By Ward Hayes Wilson, THE BULLETIN | September 19, 2023

Almost everyone who works actively against nuclear weapons is, at some level, appalled by the immorality of nuclear weapons. This makes sense because the indiscriminate killing of children, grandparents, people with disabilities, and a host of other ordinary folks is appalling.

As a result, the first argument that almost all activists reach for is moral. They bring forward hibakusha to put a human face on the immorality. They talk about the indigenous people who suffered during the mining and production of nuclear weapons. They show graphic pictures of the destruction, the burns, the radiation sickness, and other catastrophic damage done by the bombings. They say, in effect, “Look at the immorality!” They sometimes point to it with a hint of outrage in their voices. How can people not be moved by these horrible, immoral acts?

And yet here we are, 78 years later, in the midst of a second nuclear weapons arms race. Every nation that possesses nuclear weapons is either expanding or upgrading its nuclear arsenal. How can this be?

ARMS CONTROL TODAY: The Oppenheimer Legacy

ARMS CONTROL TODAY | September 2023

The film Oppenheimer, about the physicist who spearheaded the Manhattan Project, landed in theaters at an apt moment. After two decades during which many people thought the nuclear weapons genie had been tamed, the risks seem graver than ever and the public, at least for the time being, is engaged. Russian President Vladimir Putin, having launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, also has threatened to actually use nuclear weapons against states that might intervene in the conflict. Putin and the film have provoked a new debate with endless permutations. Click the link below for the collection of essays, where Stephen J. Cimbala explores the ambiguities of nuclear weapons, Chantell L. Murphy remembers the human beings erased by the film and Lisbeth Gronlund recalls the physicists who worked to limit the catastrophic weapons that their colleagues unleashed. This is a teachable moment if people can be made to understand the enduring danger of the nuclear weapons that J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team created and the need to restrain, and ultimately, eliminate them.—CAROL GIACOMO

Accelerating experimental nuclear physics with AI

The U.S. Department of Energy has funded a project to assist “the design of the ePIC detector at the future Electron-Ion Collider — a $2 billion state-of-the-art machine which will begin operations early in the next decade…and is expected to push the frontier of physics, develop new technologies and knowledge and accelerate advances in areas such as…national security.”

BY , WILLIAM & MARY UNIVERSITY NEWS. | September 13, 2023

If there were no strong nuclear force binding atomic particles together, matter as we know it would not exist. However, there are still several unresolved questions in the study of this fundamental interaction.

What’s Impacting Assurance in the U.S. Nuclear Stockpile?

“In justification of what could be $2.5 billion in spending for new test equipment and construction, NNSA said in the fiscal 2024 budget justification material, “Current diagnostics mostly confine [test] studies to early-implosion dynamic behavior [of plutonium], while the “new test beds will enable integral tests on late-stage implosion [of plutonium].”
“To meet the current information gap in subcritical experimenting, NNSA has turned to measurement devices known as Scorpius and Zeus to determine what happens when the tiny bit of plutonium reaches high pressure and density, during the late stages of implosion.”

OPINION BY Walter Pincus,  THE CIPHER BRIEF | September 12, 2023

How the ‘nuclear football’ remains a potent symbol of the unthinkable

Former military aide Buzz Patterson, who handled the football during the Clinton Administration, “recalled grappling over how he would refuse the president’s command to launch nuclear weapons if he believed they were not of sound mind and body.”
“‘And I told myself internally many times ‘If I think he’s coming across as nuts, I don’t think I can participate in this, and so that’s how I rationalized it to myself, and I think a lot of the other aides thought the same kind of thing.””

BY Georgina DiNardo,  C4ISRNET | September 12, 2023


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New Nuclear Media: Art, Films, Books & More

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